‘Visa problems hinder exchange of ideas between Pak, India farmers’ | punjab | Hindustan Times
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‘Visa problems hinder exchange of ideas between Pak, India farmers’

punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2014 12:28 IST
Ashpuneet Kaur Sandhu

Dr Shehzad Basra, professor and chairman of crop physiology at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, said here on Friday that visa problems are a constraint in the frequent exchange of ideas and techniques relating to agriculture between experts of India and Pakistan.

He was speaking on the second day of the two-day international conference at Baba Farid Group of Institutions.

"Exchange of ideas leads to progress of every nation; it will motivate farmers of both the countries," said Dr Basra.

Sharing the experience at the conference with HT, he said, "Yesterday some progressive farmers from nearby villages of Bathinda came to meet me and I shared some techniques with them, which they
have assured to apply in the coming season. On the other hand, if our progressive farmers will get an opportunity to meet experts from India, it can be encouraging and beneficial to them also."

When HT asked if their university ever held such a fest where farmers of both the countries may get a chance to interact, he said, "Our university holds around 3-4 agriculture fests in a year and every time we send invitation to some agriculture universities of India but the process
of getting visa is so lengthy that within the process of getting visa our fest gets over. Both governments need to relief little on granting visa's to academicians."

When asked about crop diversification in Pakistan, he said, "Around 90% of people have strong landholding and they are least bothered to trynew crops. 10% are marginal farmers who are acting as progressive farmers of our country. They are diverted towards growing vegetables and fruits and there is no marketing problem. These are daily used items which are sold very easily and give excellent output to the farmer."

Abida Aziz, a Ph. D student of University of Agriculture, Faisalabad said, "For last three to four years, a big change has come with new subsidy schemes approved by the government of Pakistan."